Many women who are trying desperately to shed those stubborn pounds may be suffering from certain nutrient deficiencies that can completely hamper their weight loss efforts. Is this you? Unfortunately, misleading information in the media, and crazy diet fads can contribute to confusion over nutritional requirements and put the brakes on your dieting success.
Read on to find out if you’re lacking in certain nutrients, and what you should eat to get your weight loss back on track!
1: Iodine – are You Getting Enough?
Clinical research suggests that a deficiency in iodine can prevent women from losing weight. You may not have even heard of iodine, but if you have a deficiency, it can significantly thwart your weight loss attempts. But why?
Iodine is an extremely important mineral that can be found in some of the foods we eat. You require iodine for the production of those all-important thyroid hormones that are responsible for controlling your body’s metabolism. A deficiency in iodine can lead to an underactive thyroid, which can directly affect your metabolism and the body’s ability to utilize fat stores efficiently.
Your body can’t make it’s own iodine so it must be consumed from external sources. So, to kick-start your metabolism and boost your weight loss efforts make sure you’re eating plenty of iodine-rich foods in your diet. These include:
- Dairy products
- Lean meats
- Wholegrain breads
- Fresh eggs
Not only will iodine help to get you into that pair of old jeans, it will also provide other health benefits, such as increased energy levels, improved digestion, healthy hair and skin, and it can even help protect against cancer.
2: Vitamin D Deficiency
A recent study has found that women who are obese are 35% more likely to be deficient in vitamin D. This is particularly worrying as vitamin D deficiency may also be linked to the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and even some cancers. It is thought that a deficiency can lead to an accumulation of body fat that would clearly make it harder to lose weight.
Vitamin D is utilized in a number of complicated chemical processes, and it’s possible that any excess body fat you store requires a lot of extra Vitamin D. This diminishes the amount available for these other processes and as a result, it could be harder for you to lose weight effectively.
So how can you get more vitamin D in your diet? A favorite way is simply by getting out in the sunshine; this is nature’s way of providing you with an abundance of vitamin D. Dietary sources include oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks.
One particular study has found that Vitamin D supplementation has a direct effect on body fat mass. So maybe the best thing to do if you’re worried you might not be getting enough vitamin D is to take a morning supplement.
3: Vitamin B Deficiency
Referred to as vitamin B complex, there are eight B vitamins and they help to convert food into energy and play an important role in fat burning and metabolism. Without healthy metabolic function you simply wouldn’t be able to make use of your fat stores at all.
Vitamin B is also important for mental health due to its role in the production of serotonin. Known as the “feel-good” chemical due to the sense of well-being it promotes, serotonin has the effect of curbing food cravings, meaning you’re more likely to consume fewer calories.
Therefore you can see the effect that a deficiency of vitamin B might have on your mental health, not to mention your waistline, with stores of excess fat not being fully used by your energy-producing systems. B vitamins are water-soluble and need to be consumed on a daily basis, so it is easy to become deficient if you’re not eating the right foods.
You can boost your Vitamin B intake by ensuring you regularly eat foods such as beans, lentils, eggs, yogurt, broccoli, fish and beef.
4: Low Iron Levels in the Blood
Iron plays a vital role in weight loss due to its effect on the circulatory system, as it ensures that your blood flow operates at maximum levels at all times.
There are two reasons this matters. Firstly, your blood is responsible for delivering the vital nutrients needed to promote sustained energy release which enables your metabolism to burn fat. If your blood doesn’t flow freely, your fat-burning potential will be compromised.
Another process essential to weight loss is the removal of waste products that result from the fat-burning process. Once fat cells have been used for their energy reserves, it’s very important that the useless “leftovers” can be successfully shuttled out of the system as quickly as possible. If this doesn’t happen, a buildup of harmful free radicals can occur, hindering optimum internal function, and diminishing your body’s ability to “eat” away at your fat stores.
Iron and vitamin B work together in synergy to aid the body’s production and consumption of energy. But people don’t often eat food combinations where both nutrients are present, and many people dislike offal which is a primary source of iron, so it’s easy to see how deficiencies can occur!
If you want to maximize your weight loss goals, you need to ensure that you achieve the recommended daily requirements of these four nutrients. A good multivitamin will ensure that you hit the right daily amount of each. You may even consider using individual high-strength vitamin supplements, since general multivitamins may not contain adequate amounts of each constituent.